Rafael Viñoly’s legacy to the UK is a mixed one


The Uruguayan architect bestrode the world stage and had a refreshingly open approach to design, but the UK was not where he excelled, writes Ben Flatman

Rafael Vinoly’s output was prolific. His practice had offices in New York, London, Buenos Aires and California, designing hundreds of buildings across the world. For a starchitect practice, what is perhaps most notable about the work is that there is no single recognisable style.

Refreshingly, Vinoly did not seem to impose preconceived solutions or oft-repeated design motifs on his offices’ output. Each design is a response to the site and what were often complex technical briefs – the practice was happy to undertake relatively unglamorous healthcare and research commissions. This also means it is very difficult to look at any of them and say “that’s a Rafael Vinoly” building.

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